Friday, January 31, 2014

Testing It Out

I've got a little tweak in my shoulder.
Just a little pain.
Sometimes when I move my arm one way or another, sometimes in particular poses in yoga. Sometimes when I pick up Solly or whatever...

It comes and goes.

Today at yoga class, I was thinking a lot about this shoulder, and testing it out.
I would push it a little, feel the pain. Then I'd back off. Sometimes something that I thought would hurt actually didn't. And sometimes it hurt when I didn't expect it. It was the focus of my practice today, and it made for an odd feeling.

This is what it is like living right now.

There is a terrible pain (far more than a "tweak," let me tell you) and I keep testing it out.
I push at it. I look at pictures of Sam, or I tell myself a Sam-story. A few minutes of quiet may go by inside me and so I check it out, I test the pain. I poke at the wound a little, checking out what hurts and what doesn't. And then I back off. And sometimes, without warning, it hurts when I'm not expecting. The pain flares in a different or new way that I'd not yet tested out.

It comes and goes. I'm not completely debilitated by this pain. I move through the vinyasa, I push into downward dog, and I am aware of the feeling, the sensation of hurt, but it doesn't stop me. I move through each moment, I talk and think about Sam and I am so very aware of the sadness and pain and hurt...but it doesn't stop me from living and being and breathing. Sometimes, in yoga, I stopped and sat in child's pose, resting from constantly focusing on this small pain. Sometimes, in life, I stop and cry or breathe or stare off into space, refocusing myself as I miss Sam with every breath.

He's always there....
Classic Sam face, 2011
So many pictures that were "throwaways" are now so precious and holy. So glad I never threw any away...Fall, 2011
Sam's birthday, 2010


  1. Holding you and Sam and the rest of your beautiful mishpacha in my heart as Shabbat approaches.

  2. Beautiful pictures. Gentle pushes.

  3. How sparkling and beautiful Sammy is in these photos, As you are, Phyllis.
    Shabbat Shalom to you and your dear family.

  4. Phyllis, I know so many people who think about and love you. Thank you for sharing your grief - there are scores of people who want to know how you are and whose hearts are inextricably entwined in the Sommer family. Sending you love, and awed by your strength and your honest humanity.

  5. So beautifully expressed, so real. And these photos are so precious. Sending lots of love to you all and think of you daily here in NYC.

  6. looking forward to seeing you soon

  7. I love what you wrote, and I love these photos. It's amazing how, even though I didn't know of you and Sam until shortly before Sam died, I look at those pictures and my heart melts with love for Sam and breaks for him being gone. These pictures show so much. Worth a thousand words of the wonderfulness of Sam.

  8. From Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem In Memoriam:27, 1850:

    I hold it true, whate'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost
    Than never to have loved at all.

  9. From one mother to another, wanting to lift you up and offer you strength

  10. Invariably, with the mysterious timing that is the internet, your Friday posts come to me on Shabbat. They are a deep moment of holiness, especially given the duality that Shabbat is for you now. Hugs, peace, love.

  11. wishing you and your family shavua tov. much warmth and feelings.

  12. Sounds like you are passing these tests, plus extra credit.